Barriers to building information modelling in the Chinese construction industry

Hongyang Li*, Shiu Tong Thomas Ng, Martin Skitmore, Xiaoling Zhang, Zhigang Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The Chinese construction industry is one of the biggest and most important in the world but is infamous for its relatively low efficiency and profitability. Building information modelling (BIM) has been introduced to improve the industry’s efficiency, with strong commitment by the government and mandatory adoption in some localities. However, take up in China is very slow, and the reasons for this have received little systematic study to date. This paper describes a survey of 136 owners, designers and contractors aimed at systematically and comprehensively analysing the barriers involved by examining and comparing the perceptions of these three stakeholder groups. The results indicate that owners have limited understanding of BIM except for its three-dimensional visualisation and clash-detection capabilities; designers are predominantly concerned with the uncertain amount of return of investment in the technology; and contractors are worried about having to change their mode of operation. The conflicting perceptions of BIM implementation barriers between the three groups are identified, along with key issues such as the need for qualified BIM professionals capable of operating the software and managing construction as well as coordinating the team members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Municipal Engineer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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